Friday, March 14, 2008

Loaded Words

While I walked through the living room this morning, a program on BBC News talking about medical tourism to Israel caught my attention. Without stopping to watch for more than two minutes, I became angry and left the room. This fleeting episode provoked thoughts and feelings that have stayed with me all day. Initially I felt ashamed that my reaction was so negative, and then, I realized that my feelings were triggered by words that were emotionally loaded.

The narrator said that one shouldn’t be afraid of terrorism in Israel because the Israelis face it on a daily basis. He was confident that the audience knew automatically that the Israelis are the victims and the Arabs are the perpetrators. Viewers of western news programs are conditioned to understand this. No one would dream of referring to the attacks on the Palestinian areas by the Israeli armed forces as terrorism. I guess the term State Terrorism doesn’t exist, except academically. When Israel bombs, attacks, kills, destroys homes, and shatters lives, it is referred to as retaliation or defense. People accept that Israel has the right to do this.

As the reporter showed an ambulance meeting a patient arriving for medical treatment, I saw instead another vision in my mind’s eye. I saw frightened, exhausted, frustrated Palestinian people queuing at one of the hundreds of checkpoints that the Israelis have put up to prevent them from reaching medical help, work, school, farms, orchards, or loved ones they long to see. Israel grants citizenship to any Jew who arrives on its shores and denies civil and human rights to the indigenous Arab population under its control. Now Israel plans to make money by attracting people for medical tourism while it denies access to medical care to the Arab inhabitants under occupation.



Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you. It is because of people like you that I will never lose hope in having the people of the world understand the realities of Palestine.

Regular Reader

Saturday, March 15, 2008  
Blogger joladies said...

Thank you Regular Reader for your kind words. I do so very little but wish I could do more.

Saturday, March 15, 2008  

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